E.M.T. Christopher J. Prescott Playground

E.M.T. Christopher J. Prescott Playground

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

What was here before?

Staten Island’s South Shore was formed by clay, sand, and gravel deposited by the Wisconsin glacier. Lush woodlands and rich marine and freshwater resources made this area a very desirable location for human settlement. About 6,000 years ago, the Algonquian Lenape’s ancestors established camps on bluffs overlooking Raritan Bay. European colonists developed a thriving oyster-harvesting industry in the 17th century, and a series of farms were established in the area. In the early 20th century, there was a summer cottage community in nearby Wolfe’s Pond Park, though it was ultimately razed for the building of that park.

How did this site become a playground?

The City acquired the land for this playground in 1960, and it opened in 1967. It is a Jointly Operated Playground (JOP) serving Elias Bernstein Intermediate School 7 and the local community. Beginning in 1938, the Board of Education (now the Department of Education) agreed to provide land next to schools where NYC Parks could build and maintain playgrounds that could be used by the school during the day and by the public when school is not in session. The site was formerly known as Huguenot Playground due to its location on Huguenot Avenue, which also gives its name to the nearby Public School 5.

In 2021, the playground was reconstructed to include new play equipment and upgraded infrastructure.

Who is this playground named for?

This playground was renamed in 1997 in honor of Christopher J. Prescott (1972-1994), a native of Staten Island and the first New York City Emergency Medical Service worker to be killed in the line of duty. On the night of June 17, 1994, Prescott and his partner were assisting a person injured in an automobile accident when a vehicle driven by a drunk driver struck the EMS crew and their patient. Hours later, Prescott died from his injuries at Kings County Hospital.

Prescott was educated at Public School 5 and Intermediate School 7, local Staten Island schools, St. Joseph-by-the-Sea High School, and the College of Staten Island. He joined the Emergency Medical Service in 1993 and was assigned to Station 34 in East New York, Brooklyn. His exceptional patient care and commitment to his coworkers during his first year earned him the title of “Rookie of the Year” from his colleagues, who foresaw in Prescott a promising career.

Directions to E.M.T. Christopher J. Prescott Playground

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